Community pulls together to clean up Calder Valley

Volunteers prepare to start the clean-up effort in the Calder Valley after the area was hit by floods for the second time in two and a half weeks
Volunteers prepare to start the clean-up effort in the Calder Valley after the area was hit by floods for the second time in two and a half weeks

VOLUNTEERS have been fighting back in the aftermath of the floods.

Nearly 40 people turned up at the Co-op, Market Street, Hebden Bridge, on Tuesday to help residents and business owners who were hit by Monday’s flash flood.

The idea was thought up by Voluntary Action Calderdale (VAC) and was publicised via the Calder Valley flood victim’s Facebook group, which was set up by Rob Holden hours after the floods that devastated the Calder Valley three weeks ago.

Rob, who helped coordinate the volunteers efforts, said: “It was great to get such a great level of support on a week day. We had some properties that we already knew were hit at Nutclough and Dodnaze where we were assisting people. But, we also sent people door knocking to see if anyone else needed help.”

In total, the volunteers visited over 20 businesses and houses in Hebden Bridge, Old Town, Mytholmroyd, Falling Royd, Dodnaze and Charlestown - which is still feeling the effects from the floods on June 22. Cleaning supplies were also given to residents in Dodnaze, who pulled together to clean the area’s community centre, which was hit by the floods.

Soo Nevison, from VAC, said: “It was dead easy to get these volunteers together. Rob put a message on the Facebook page and people have responded really well to it. The community spirit shown has been fantastic.”

The first clean up of the day was at the Good Shepherd Church, Mytholmroyd, which needed its car park cleared of mud and debris in time for a funeral the following day.

In conjunction with a team from Calderdale Council, four volunteers armed with spades and brushes cleared the entrance of mud and debris.

Mytholmroyd resident Scott Hope, who was one of the volunteers, said: “I came out last night and spoke to Father Gott and I just wanted to help. The community support is fantastic.”

Father Gott thanked the team and said the funeral would now go ahead as planned.

He said: “Flooding is a problem for us each time. I don’t mind the water coming through our car park because it means it’s not going into people’s houses.

“It’s great that we got this help and the Facebook site has been really helpful.”

Volunteers also helped to clear up Noir in Bridge Gate, Hebden Bridge.

To keep volunteers and flood victims going, members of Food Angels, supported be Incredible Edible Todmorden, cooked free food at St James’s Church, Hebden Bridge.

Helena Cook, from the angels, said: “We came down to show community spirit. We have been doing it for two weeks in Todmorden. We were going to throw the stuff away on Friday, but I said we should store it in Todmorden Unitarian Church and then we heard about what happened here. We’re obviously glad we kept it now.”